CHENGDU, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The UNESCO World Heritage Site Jiuzhai Valley is expected to reopen gradually before May after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the popular tourist destination last August, according to a political advisor.
Hu Bin, a Sichuan political advisor, said at the local legislative session that the park would reopen partially and gradually.
The restoration will be completed in three years. The Sichuan government issued a restoration plan last November and decided to invest 11.8 billion yuan (1.8 billion U.S. dollars) into restoration work.
"The temporary closure is also a chance for the park to upgrade its development mode when the tourist destination saw decreasing foreign visitors in recent years," Hu said.
Jiuzhai Valley (Jiuzhaigou National Park), located in the mountains on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is well-known for its ethnic minority communities, superb mountains and stunning scenery.
Jiuzhai Valley received 7.2 million tourists, including 180,000 foreigners, in 2016, with total tourism revenue of 9 billion yuan (1.35 billion U.S. dollars). It closed on Aug. 8 last year due to the earthquake.